25 November 2013

She Who Waits by Daniel Polansky [book review]

She Who Waits - Daniel Polansky book cover
She Who Waits by Daniel Polansky
Published by Hodder
ARC - 405 pages
Published October 2013
Review copy given by publisher
The final instalment in Daniel Polansky’s stellar Low Town series, She Who Waits sees our anti-hero Warden trying to play multiple games at the same time, pulling strings from so many factions within the slums of Rigus that it would make Geppetto’s head spin.

Once again, Polansky imbues Warden with all the dark wit and cynical snark that made his series so enjoyable. As a veteran, drug pusher and crime lord with a very fragile grasp of morality, Warden swaggers about Low Town with the kind of air that only comes to someone who’s had to fight tooth and nail to earn his position.

There’s plenty of action in the city of Rigus. You can forget the sweeping epic worlds of high fantasy; Polansky fills this relatively small area to the brim with violence, murder, intrigue and a little bit of magic. This means that every alleyway, every dead end and every street corner is a powder keg waiting to explode.

The Low Town series is all about Warden, but I was glad to see that She Who Waits put a bit more focus put into the likes of Adolphus, Warden’s buddy-in-arms, and Wren, Warden’s magical protégé. Wren especially comes into his own as he tries to assert his position with Warden, earning himself a sliver of Warden’s snark in the process.

As the final episode in the series, She Who Waits ends with a satisfying payoff that does Warden and the slums of Low Town justice. And as soon as you finish it, you’ll want to pick up the first novel, The Straight Razor Cure, and start all over again.

This was the series that pulled me into dark fantasy by the throat and refused to let go until I’d fully immersed myself into its darkness. It’ll do the same to you, and you’ll love it. An outstanding conclusion to an excellent series.

About the author
Jamie Gibbs is the bearded, bespectacled geek who runs Mithril Wisdom and drinks too much coffee, usually at the same time.
You can follow him on his Google+ or Twitter profiles for a daily dose of fanboy discourse.


  1. Now that the series has ended, I need to pick it up.

  2. I haven't read this series, but man, now i want to


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